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Massive Downed Tree Stops Traffic On Southbound Lake Shore Drive, Traffic Affected Across Area During Severe Storms

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Severe weather had a dramatic impact across the Chicago area Saturday afternoon, as ponding water and downed trees brought traffic to a standstill in some places.

As CBS 2's Marissa Parra reported, getting around quickly became a puzzle for some Chicagoans.

Roads became obstacle courses in Woodlawn. On Lake Shore Drive, a massive downed tree halted traffic in the southbound lanes near 63rd Street Beach.

Vehicles, including a Chicago Transit Authority bus full of unhappy riders, were stopped as crews tried to clear the way around 2 p.m.

Farther north in Bucktown, minor flooding was seen near Ashland Avenue and Homer Street, close to the Kennedy Expressway overpass, in the thick of the storm. Stairs looked more like waterfalls as water pooled under the bridge.

Traffic was also stopped on the Eisenhower Expressway due to standing water. Eastbound traffic was being diverted off at Des Plaines and westbound traffic was being diverted off at 1st Avenue. Illinois State Police warned to avoid the area.

Water reached above tires for some vehicles driving under the Belmont Avenue Lake Shore Drive overpass around 3 p.m. Saturday.

Drivers had to push through at least 12 inches of water. The water almost topped the tires for some of the smaller cars.

Walking paths nearby in East Lakeview looked more like ponds. One man even thought to hitch a ride on the back of another as they tried to get around.

Naperville police also reported closed roads due to standing water. Police reported flooding that caused the closure of several roads, including Julian Street at Prairie Avenue and Washington Street at Bailey Road.

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